As a child from the caribbean, I grew up eating a dish called fungee. Fungee is a cornmeal dish that is often served with stewed fish or alongside a meat dish. Fungee is one of those dishes that you either LOVE or HATE. If you love it, you want to eat it all the time. If you hate it, it’s a dreaded feeling you get whenever you hear that fungee is what you are having for dinner. I was never a fan of fungee, but would eat it since my Mother didn’t make it a lot.
The first time I had polenta, it reminded me of fungee, but only better. I later realized that I liked polenta more, because it didn’t have okra in it. I had only had fungee with okra in it, and it was the slimy texture that I didn’t like. Now whenever I eat fungee, I make sure to have it without okra.
Yesterday I went to Fresh Market grocery store to pick up some bread. As I strolled pass the meat season, I noticed some short ribs that had been freshly cut.
I hadn’t made short ribs in awhile, and decided to buy some and prepare them for dinner. Every time I’ve had short ribs, it has been accompanied with polenta. So I decided to serve my short ribs with polenta. Both go great together, and make for a very memorable meal.
Here is how you make this dish:
Dice up 1 cup carrots, 1/2 cup celery, and 3/4 cup red onions.
Trim excess fat off 3 1/2 pounds short ribs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Trimming off excess fat will help reduce the amount of grease in this dish.
In a cast iron dutch oven or large stock pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on med-high heat. Once oil is hot, add short ribs.
Cook until there is a good sear on all sides.
When there is a nice sear on all sides, remove from dutch oven, and place in a large bowl. Set aside for later use.
In the same dutch oven, add vegetables and saute until vegetables start to become slightly tender.
Next add 3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute, before adding 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Mix well to make sure everything is incorporated.
After a few minutes, add 1/2 cup red wine, 2 cups beef broth, 1 fresh bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. Mix well.
Add short ribs and dripping from bowl back into dutch oven, and place on low heat. Cover and allow to simmer for 3.5 hours. About every 30 minutes during the cooking process, remove lid and gently turn short ribs in sauce. Make sure to cover dutch oven after turning short ribs.
After 3.5 hours, add 1/4 cup freshly chopped italian parsley to the dutch oven, and mix well. Allow to simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
When short ribs are almost done cooking, add 1 1/2 cups water and salt to a stock pot. Place pot on medium heat and cover. Once water starts to boil, add 1/2 cup instant polenta to the pot and whisk continuously. As soon as polenta starts to thicken, remove from heat and add 1/2 tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese. Whisk well until cheese is melted. Once melted, serve immediately with short ribs.
Dinner is served!!
And the next day if you have left over short ribs, you can make this AWESOMELY delicious sandwich!!
Braised Short Ribs with Mozzarella & Pickled Red Onions Grilled Naan Sandwich
Recipe adapted from www.theitaliandishblog.com